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In celebration of Sir Ken Dodd’s Birthday, Shakespeare North Playhouse sat down with Lady Anne Dodd to chat about Sir Ken’s most beloved childhood book The Wind in The Willows.
In a special tribute to the late Sir Ken Dodd, renowned comedian and entertainer, Shakespeare North will stage The Wind in The Willows (24th Nov 23- 13th Jan 24) this Christmas, bringing to life one of his all-time favourite books, enchanting audiences of all ages with its timeless charm and heart-warming tale.
Featuring live music and a talented company of actor-musicians, this delightful adaptation by Toby Hulse of Kenneth Grahame’s classic story is set to be the perfect Christmas treat for all ages.
As a tribute to Sir Ken Dodd, whose love for The Wind in the Willows was well known, this production aims to honour his memory by bringing his cherished childhood book to life on stage.
Dodd, inspired generations with his unique blend of humour and warmth. His affection for this classic tale serves as a testament to its enduring appeal and universal resonance. The Sir Ken Dodd Performance Garden at Shakespeare North Playhouse has been named so in his honour and serves as a memorial to his life and contributions to the entertainment industry. As a testament to his enduring popularity and influence, the garden has quickly become a hub for local comedy programming and creativity.
On Ken’s love for The Wind in The Willows Lady Ann Dodd comments:
‘He (Ken) used to refer to it as his favourite book. I think the characters fascinated him and the humour- warm, gentle, kind humour. The whole book is full of kindness.’
‘Since he passed away and the Museum of Liverpool are doing their current exhibition (Happiness!) of his life. One of the things the archivist came across amongst all the stuff was this small book of The Wind in The Willows. Just inside there was this little sticky label and written on it in pencil was ‘Ken Dodd’ in very childish writing, so that was his first book and it’s now on display at the museum.’
Set to captivate theatregoers throughout the festive season, The Wind in the Willows will showcase the magic and splendour of Kenneth Grahame’s beloved children’s classic. This delightful adaptation of the timeless tale will bring the magical world of Toad, Mole, Ratty, and Badger to life in an extraordinary theatrical experience for the whole family.
Directed by the acclaimed theatre visionary Julia Samuels The Wind in the Willows promises to be an unforgettable theatrical experience, transporting the audience into a world of captivating characters, whimsical adventures, and profound life lessons.
“We are thrilled to present Toby Hulse’s adaptation of ‘The Wind in the Willows’ as our 2023 Christmas show at Shakespeare North Playhouse,” said Artistic Director, Laura Collier. “This timeless tale holds a special place in our hearts, and it brings us immense joy to bring Sir Ken Dodd’s favourite book to life on our stage. We can’t wait for audiences to experience this beautiful adaptation expertly directed by the wonderful Julia Samuels. Join us this holiday season for laughter, friendship, and music and immerse yourself in the magic of the riverbank!”
Tickets for The Wind in The Willows (24th November 2023-13th January 2024) at Shakespeare North Playhouse can be bought online via the Shakespeare North Playhouse website, via our ticketing line 0151 433 7156 or in house at the Shakespeare North Playhouse front desk.